The AC Hold-Outs
I would love to find a statistic on how many houses in Mt. Lebanon still don’t have central air conditioning.
We finally caved last year and got central air conditioning and I’m fairly certain we were one of the last holdouts. Driving around the municipality in the summer, you’ll notice the lack of open windows on an 85-degree day. I’m certain they residents inside are lavishing themselves with crispy cool air and a sturdy Klondike bar in hand.
But, what made us give in? Here’s a multiple choice pop quiz for you. You can only select one answer.
A. The unofficial induction into the middle-aged clan
B. The incessant griping of a pre-teen child
C. The envy of those who aren’t continually prying their claw-laden cats from delicate window screens
D. The dog
If you guessed D, you’re correct. A, B and C could all be survived with a little mental fortitude. But we caved after countless miserable attempts at keeping an Alaskan Malamute comfortable. (After all, her breed’s name has Alaska in it!) If she had opposable thumbs and a driver’s license, we’d be left in the dust as she headed to the nearest ski resort.
So, we can thank our 90-pound chunky monkey of a dog for cool, comfortable summertime nights.
Gone are the days of strategically placing box fans throughout the house in futile attempts to circulate hair-dryer hot air. I think when I was a kid, we became so delirious with the heat that we spent hours talking into the whizzing and whirling fan blades to disguise our voices.
Lying in bed with wet washcloths soaking us from head to toe also resides in the past. No longer will the household cats wonder why their humans lay splayed in bed like victims of a tragic mystery illness. Maybe now someone will actually feed and water them at a proper time!
Another plus: No more kiddie pools sitting in the sun for days while a green film forms over the top of the once crystal-clear water. Skimming the pool merely turned into an exercise of determining how less-green we could get the pool. The mosquito maintenance game served as a second pastime with the big blue plastic pool.
As one of what I believe to be the final Mt. Lebanon holdouts, I think it’s bittersweet we decided to install air conditioning. But each time I glance over at my oversized behemoth Fluffernutter of a dog, I know that she thanks us for the selfless act of crispy, cool, free-flowing air.
Last September our AC unit died. Our HVAC guy suggested we wait until this season. We got pretty good at dealing with the heat. My husband can stand the heat better than I, but when his Snickers were “melty”, he called for the new unit! By the way, the new unit was more expensive that it would have been in 2021 due to supply chain issues. The Snickers was well and happy!
Nearby in Dormont, I’ve been without central AC for over 22 years and counting. It would just mess with the beautiful mojo of my vintage 1912 home. I do succumb on the few unbearable nights and lug the AC unit from the basement and plunk it into the bedroom window.
After long cold winters I welcome any natural heat to my old bones. Though I did register 108 degrees on my 3rd floor last month. Instant hot yoga! Nevertheless, I’ll never give in!